Proclamation of National Thanksgiving

School taught all of us that  Thanksgiving started with the Pilgrims and Indians sitting down together for a meal.  But do we  know who made it into a National Holiday?  On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln issued a public proclamation and “set his hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed… ” and in his own words, proclaimed, “It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should so solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice, by the whole American people.  I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and prayer….”

At a time where our country was being torn apart in civil war, our president set  a national holiday to remind everyone to remember  to be thankful  for the bounties  that where enjoyed throughout  the past year. President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation was published in the New York Times on Oct 5, 1863.   Lincoln’s entire proclamation may be found at

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